Monday, July 21, 2008

The Aftermath of Death

Rest in Peace

Well its Monday and I am sitting outside by the pool watching my wifey trying to relax after what can only be termed as a grueling week of saddness. We spent Saturday at his funeral service. I believe the preachers message could be summed up by saying "everything goes back in the box." Funerals always have different effects on different people. Some are angered, some are saddened and some intellectualize its effects into something softer and far more paletable. I reserve judgement as to its effects I feel; for the rain is as necessary as the the sunshine; so is death to life; irregardless of anybody's feelings - so I tend to ignore feelings.

I know that the sun is hot here in sunny California. I note that everything else continues along its path as if everything was normal. I hear the hummingbirds swoop by, I hear the airplane overhead, I watch the wind move through the palms; even the water is just as blue. But in my heart, someone special is missing...their footprint still fresh in sand of our lives.

Alfred Tayolor Keil saunters on another shore. He often joked of how much I noticed light and shadows. I am certain that he is probably chuckling at this moment amidst the extreme joy and relief of the afterlife. I dont know if God is as harsh as we humans or even if he submits to our limiting and suffocating boxes we attempt to lock him in by our "human/traditional" understandings that we hold others accountable by; but I do know that He has the final word. The bible speaks of many things, practically all still relevant to today; but its greatest gift is still LOVE. It is a love so indescribable that we are always agast when we discover someone has made the sacrifices only it has the power to dictate. Love always overcomes whatever we decide is empassable. I reflect on one who made many sacrifices and spent a great amount of energy in just doing the right thing. Sure no oness perfect; but what we do with what we have pretty much speaks for itself. I wont attempt to translate the necessary volumes such would require. I simply will say, Al was such a man. We would appear quite different from each other to the untrained and uninspecting eye. The truth, as in most cases is a bit opposite. We shared many of the same ideals and cared for many of the same people, family and things. Even as I sit here, I remember us in the evening shade sipping a Early Times on the rocks, watching the sunset and reciting just a few verses of our favorite poems. He liked the Rubiyat by Omar Kyanam and I Edgar Allen Poe. Mix in a bit of Robert Frost and you have to unique individauls on the road less traveled. Some of the choices were simple; the consequences were far more complicated. Thats the beauty of the road less traveled; no traffic jams.

I have met many new and familiar faces. To some degree, funerals are like family reunions...everybody's family and knowing is quite enough. Everybody promises to stay in touch but they dont til they see you again at the next unfortunate incident requiring respects. I suppose thats just the way it is; I am no less guilty. WHY is is always death that makes people think of love and family more than they did before? Is it the loss of the possiblity of communication or the knowledge of the adsence of choice? I dont know. I suppose I am nont saddened for several reasons; but I will share only one or two. Sometimes in the breeze, I can feel my deceased mothers hug; sometimes in the stillness, I can see her smile; I suspect the same will be for sitting in the evening shade that I will be reunited with my friend and father-in-law, Alfred. I will hear his familiar phrase "at any rate" as he gives me the opinion or insight that would have only required yes or no. I never got the simple or short answer; apparently noone ever did. That was something you grew to enjoy, respect and look forward to. AL knew quite a bit about everything and didnt mind sharing that knowledge. We all pass along something special to those we meet that is completely unique to our own souls. His kindness and insight will be long missed; but not long forgotten. I love his daughter, my wife and mother of our two boys. This week my Jason and Nick make me extremely proud. My brothers and sister-in-laws honor their father well. His legacy will live on in the remaining family but my boys will always remember the value of "this little finger."

This time of grief will pass as will many others. Thats ok by me. One of them will be my own passing of which I have no fear. I have always been inspired by my ironmaiden sister-in-law, Kathy and how much she loves her family and takes care of them. She got that from her father. My Cousin Gina, well thats another whole blog for another time...but your hospitality and dedication to family cannot go without mention. Many good people in my inlaw family; but the same I would say for my own blood family...some really good people. It is the absence of knowledge that separates men and the denial of love that keeps them apart. Everything else is only a shade of grey we paint black and humans must take their scars as proof of existence, survival and defiance. We need our scars!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Menusha Mondays are Here: Mind your p's and q's!

They're Watching...

Its a beautiful Monday morning. The sun is bright, the air is warm and everybody is back from vacation; including the boss. That brings me to the Monday Manusha for the day. A coworker said "mind your p's and q's and hence; I had to know where that came from. We actually yahooed this one instead of googling. We got a very quick answer...so I share it with you.

Here it goes: Nautical Terminology: Mind Your P's and Q's
There are few of us who at one time or another have not been admonished to "mind our P's and Q's," or in other words, to behave our best.  Oddly enough, "mind your P's and Q's" had nautical beginnings as a method of keeping books on the waterfront.

In the days of sail when Sailors were paid a pittance, seamen drank their ale in taverns whose keepers were willing to extend credit until payday.  Since many salts were illiterate, keepers kept a tally of pints and quarts consumed by each Sailor on a chalkboard behind the bar.  Next to each person's name, a mark was made under "P" for pint or "Q" for quart whenever a seaman ordered another draught.

On payday, each seaman was liable for each mark next to his name, so he was forced to "mind his P's and Q's" or he would get into financial trouble.  To ensure an accurate count by unscrupulous keepers, Sailors had to keep their wits and remain somewhat sober.  Sobriety usually ensured good behavior, hence the meaning of "mind your P's and Q's."

traffic lights are watchingSpeaking of minding yours, I saw this great article on another blog called Law and Argument. I watched some movie this weekend or saw some TV show that mentioned myspace. Since practically the whole world is on it by now, if you didnt know; now you know. Which takes me to another point. Did you ever notice while driving down the interstate or stopping at an intersection just how many times you saw cameras? They're everywhere now! Sure, you might tense up briefly when you spot a patrol car with a radar gun on you or a cruiser just lingering behind you for a long time; but one might be more terrified if he realized the new police wont have cars. In fact, your ticket is in the mail. In fact, your entire life is probably tied into that camera and its facial recognition database.... talk about an identity theft just waiting to happen. Sure I see you, you see me and its Monday! Smile for the camera. I know, some of you are saying, if you dont do anything wrong, you want be worried about who's watching....I think history would disagree with you. The numbers might also oppose your nonchalant response.

Nonetheless, there's nothing like a good weekend to make a Monday worth its dread and hardship. There typically are always problems Mondays and/or Fridays. Remember the last time you really needed a doctor or perscription. Wasnt it late on a Friday? Anyway, you know what I mean. Go enjoy your week, the end of you weekend and the beginning of another trip to the next weekend. Maxi Frog signing off!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thursday Thinkings: Journey to the Weekend!

Today is the launch of Thursday Thinkings of whose goal I must reveal later. Meanwhile here in now sunny Nashville, it is a day not untypical of any other. It rained in the morning and is completely different by noon. You gotta love change, it never changes. Hopefully the same innocent wonder of childhood is always within us, wondering, exploring and creating dreams in the world around us. There are magic things about kinds that they always love: bubbles, balloons, magic, glow-in-the-dark and 3-D! I must be still a kid at heart too!

Happy 40th Tiny!My nephew is in Disneyland and I am sure he is having a great time. I talked briefly with him by phone and he could hardly contain his excitement. I wonder how I would have felt at that age seeing a giant rat coming toward me; but times have changed since then. This weekend my dearest oldest friend Tiny turns the F' word, 40! We always knew this day would come. It seems funny how old people seem when your aren't their age. I dont suppose I would go back even if I could. Nonetheless birthdays are great! Its a cause for celebration and fun. I think it will be an excellent weekend for a great IMAX 3-D movie, "Journey to the Center of the Earth." Since we already went "Zorbing," and neither of us believe in unnecessary risk (wink), I suppose skydiving is out along with bungie jumping. So lets eat!

butt ox

If it wasnt Thursday, would Friday still be the end of the week? I look forward to the return of the Pensive. My friend Bendy has given me a new nickname that I think I like, "MaxiFrog." Despite sounding like a new mini tampon or FBD (female battery device) [dont steal that, its mine. I meant the acronym] it has some real potiential for a nerd like me. Its a LAM night and that too is more that fun can describe. Hmmm...much rambling about little to be quantified; but you already knew that.